Romney's Hispanic chairman says candidate made mistakes
November 11th, 2012
11:09 AM ET
2 years ago

Romney's Hispanic chairman says candidate made mistakes

(CNN) – The man who led Mitt Romney's outreach to Hispanic voters said Sunday the candidate "made some mistakes" during his campaign that ultimately led to a precipitous drop in Latino support.

Carlos Gutierrez, the former secretary of commerce, blamed the Republican primary process, which he said forced Romney to harden his immigration stance in an appeal to the far-right wing of the Republican Party.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"Mitt Romney made some mistakes," Gutierrez told CNN senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash on "State of the Union." "I think he is an extraordinary man, and I think he made an extraordinary candidate. I think Mitt Romney's comments are a symptom. I think the disease is the fact that the far right of the party controls the primary process."

On immigration, Romney often sought to balance his positions in ways that appealed both to Hispanic voters and the base of the Republican Party.

In December, Romney vowed to veto the DREAM Act if he became president, saying instead he would support a path to residency - not citizenship - for undocumented immigrants who served in the military, but not other DREAM Act proposals.

Later, Romney gave a more detailed version of his stance, telling supporters at a fund-raiser in Florida that Republicans needed to offer their own version of the DREAM Act.

At a Republican presidential debate in January, Romney said he favored a system of "self-deportation," a policy that involves making economic conditions so difficult for undocumented workers that they choose to leave the country to find better opportunities. That stance was derided both by Democrats and his Republican rivals.

Speaking Sunday, Gutierrez said Latino voters were scared of a Republican Party they regarded as anti-immigrant and downright xenophobic.

"They were scared of the anti-immigration talk. They were scared of xenophobes. It's almost as if we're living in the past," Gutierrez added.

The proof, he said, was in the way Latinos voted: 27% cast ballots for Romney, compared to 31% who voted for Sen. John McCain in 2008 and 44% who supported George W. Bush in 2004.

"I would lay the blame squarely on the far-right wing of the Republican Party," Gutierrez said.

Evangelical leader Gary Bauer said Sunday that the opposite was true, pinning Romney's loss on a party too focused on appealing to moderate voters.

"I think it's due, at least in part, to folks in our party that seem intent on attacking the fact that we're the conservative party in the United States," Bauer said, pointing specifically to the issue of abortion, which he said should have played a larger role in the 2012 campaign.

"There's no yearning by the American people for a second pro-abortion party. I mean, we've already got one of those," he said.


Filed under: 2012 • Latinos • Mitt Romney
soundoff (381 Responses)
  1. Melanie

    "Carlos Gutierrez, the former secretary of commerce, blamed the Republican primary process, which he said forced Romney to harden his immigration stance in an appeal to the far-right wing of the Republican Party."

    Carlos Gutierrez is saying Romney HAD to lie about his position in order to get the nomination. No one "forced" Romney to harden his immigration stance. He lied about his true position on the issue in order to garner votes. Let's call it what it is. He's done the same thing regarding many other issues as well. If you can't win your party's nomination with your own TRUE position on the issues then perhaps you belong in another party.

    Let's be honest here, the extremists on the "far right-wing of the Republican Party" are no longer the far right, they are the majority and therefore represent the Republican party accurately.

    November 12, 2012 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  2. N Vinny Veritas

    It's the curse of Lee Atwater...

    November 12, 2012 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  3. Edales

    Republican baggage....One term president baloney.....no taxes via Norquist... rape and conception sorta' God's will......AND NOW ...crying King and his Fact sorting "croutch watch" questions..who needs this.??..what's the point...?..How will
    the answers he wants to get change any thing..?? C'mon... Repubs jump on your buddies for the things they spout off about
    before you disappear into the sunset. The electoral college and the people spoke ...get with it or get OUT. "nuff nsaid!!

    November 12, 2012 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  4. Bob Ramos

    "Mitt Romney made some mistakes," Gutierrez told CNN senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash on "State of the Union." "I think he is an extraordinary man, and I think he made an extraordinary candidate. I think Mitt Romney's comments are a symptom. I think the disease is the fact that the far right of the party controls the primary process."
    ------------------------------------------
    Evangelical leader Gary Bauer said Sunday that the opposite was true, pinning Romney's loss on a party too focused on appealing to moderate voters.

    ----------------------------
    As long as right wingers like Bauer dominate the GOP primaries, the Democrats will control the WH. The candidate that panpers to them will win the nomination but always lose in the general election.

    November 12, 2012 04:23 am at 4:23 am |
  5. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald trump ??????

    The gop is a national joke .that happens when you let these church goofballs involved in government where they don't belong..

    November 12, 2012 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  6. joesmith

    seems ro me, the romney camp/republican party, squashed every attempt by the Ron Paul faction, even denying access to the convention..you can not deny people, particularly with substantial delegates the right to address the convention, and expect to triumph..you basically handed the White House back to the encumbant on a silver platter..

    November 12, 2012 05:06 am at 5:06 am |
  7. Thomas

    I voted for the Democrats this year Mr Bauer and I am not pro-abortion. I am pro get your nose out of my business and stop trying to shove your religious beliefs down my throat. Republicans lost because the majority reject the stance of the far right which has paralized and is destroying the party.

    November 12, 2012 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  8. CraigM

    I am a Conservative-Moderate Republican..........have views on variouse isses that fall into one of those two outlooks. I believe that Carlos Gutirrez is absolutely right........the far right wing of the Republican Party is absolutely to blame for this debacle. On immigration the main issues I have is that illegals, from whatever country, broke the laws of this country to get here and that cannot be tolerated if we are to be a contry of laws. But we have to face this enormous group of folks that are here and how to handle this.......the Dream Act is probably overdue, there I said it. There has to be some type of system put in place but also people cannot just break laws because they don't like them, right?? On gay-rights let's get on with it.......they are people just like the rest of us and full-rights as in marriage, adoption rights, spousal rights, etc., are definitely needed. And on abortion, well that should remain a personal decision, whether it is pro-life or pro-abortion rights. it should be between the parents (if both known) their doctor and their minister. It should absolutely not be a power of government to dictate this issue one way or the other. If Gary Bauer and his ilk had their way they would turn America into a neo-facist religious dictatorship!!! We need to be a fiscally conservative party with family values (however that is made up on a personal level) a conservative outlook on world affairs and decidedly an anti-Socialist party unlike the Democratic Party. Reach out to younger voters is also a must.

    November 12, 2012 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  9. Harold S.

    Amen..... It is entertaining watching them self destruct.....loving it....

    November 12, 2012 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  10. RFallor

    Romney-lightweight campaign staff–couldn't match Obama's camp with street level moves. Plus, their positions turned off minorities, young voters and women - hello??? Anybody home??? And they got paid big money for running that campaign??? Amazing.

    November 12, 2012 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  11. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Latinos weren't the problem. His own voters deserted him.

    November 12, 2012 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  12. Pedro a Delgado

    I guess we have to admit reality, the
    American mind has sucumbed to decades
    of Socialist brainwashing of our School
    System.

    We have lost our Country and utter
    destruction is to follow as a depression
    worse than the one in 1929 will start
    showing its ugly head not too long from
    now.

    This not surprising as no other fate can be
    expected from a Country that does not
    fears The Lord any longer.

    November 12, 2012 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  13. Gclure

    Gary Bauer blames the loss on Romney not being Conservative enough? Keep your head buried in the sand, pal. Let's look at that logic: Conservative voters stayed home and let Obama (who they believe to be the Antichrist) win because they didn't want Romney in the WHite House? That's insane.

    November 12, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  14. mattski

    I love the ones who think Romney lost because he didn't go far enough to the right. What planet does Bauer live on?

    November 12, 2012 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  15. Vesi

    "Cuban Americans" are Hispanics? Hah, most of them don't even speak Spanish and if they do they barely speak it correctly.

    November 12, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  16. some guy in New Hampshire

    The idea here is the same old one we hear every election season: : to get the nomination, the candidate had to dump his true beliefs and mouth ideas he didn't believe in. Politics as usual; what can you do? That's just how it is." Does anyone see a problem here?

    November 12, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  17. Marie MD

    @ancient Texan, read Liz's post on 5. That, among many other personal failures like animal abuse and bullying and, to me personally not that I would have voted for him, knowing that your 10 ten year old son had a meltdown after an alledged miscarriage by the non working wife during primaries?, is why so many didn't vote for the twit.
    Even third generation Cubans voted for the President.. It just shows that anyone with half a brain and some education, except for the southern states where they keep voting against their own betterment and still don't get that the blue states are carrying them, can add and subtract and know that the rethugs are the worst for the country.

    November 12, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  18. Shotgun Jones

    Romney did not appeal to the far right. If he had there wouldn't have been a second term. It kills me when people say this because I AM FAR RIGHT and he never appealed to me. He was just the last one standing.

    November 12, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  19. Concerned new voter

    The commentary is right..... far right is scary to all
    The John Boehners, Eric cantor et al are also immigrants I don't think they are Native Americans
    Wake up don't hate

    November 12, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  20. PJ

    None of the Primary Candidates were worth a vote; however the GOP picked the worst one.

    November 12, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  21. John

    Let's see. Romney wasn't conservative enough, so voters let Obama win instead. That makes a lot of sense!

    November 12, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  22. Indy

    Romney lost because he embraced the White Wing Extremests and Right Wing Extremests and forgot that you cant become a moderate in the last debate and expect to win. In the end Romney was not effective at running his campaign and he was even less effective at understanding of what voters expect from a candidate. Mitts a decent guy but he does not understand people, and if you can't connect you can't be President

    November 12, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  23. Amy2go

    As if Gary Bauer's support is going to help the Republican Party. And, dragging out Latino politicians to make it look like they have credibility after the fact is disgusting and meaningless.

    They don't get it. They just don't get it.

    They need to step into progress.

    November 12, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  24. Claire

    Trotting out Marco Rubio as a representative "Latino" was insulting and ridiculous. Cubans in Miami have *not* experienced the same immigration struggles as other Hispanics in the U.S. In a nutshell, and as a lifelong Miami resident who witnessed it firsthand, here's what happened - They allowed a Communist dictator to take over (everyone loved him at first). Instead of staying and fighting to get their country back, they fled. They came to Miami and were granted favored status, *immediate* residency in what was then a Communist-phobic America. Despite attempts to modify the Cuban policy - including 'wet foot/dry foot' - Cubans' status has changed little over the years. They pushed out the local population who welcomed them, by freezing them out socially, linguistically and economically. Basically, anyone who wasn't Cuban, was not invited to the party. Oh, and BTW, Cubans are strongly, loudly contemptuous of Mexicans. I heard it, time and time again, about how Mexicans aren't educated, how they do the grunt jobs a Cuban would never do, how they're criminals, etc. I'm serious - heard these comments from Cubans every time the subject came up, comparing which group of Hispanics was superior (a topic which comes up ALL THE TIME in Miami). Marco Rubio, to his credit, supports the DREAM Act. Is he the maverick, going against the grain of entrenched hard-liners in Miami? Maybe; but others, including former Miami mayor Alex Penelas, have never been able to pull that off.

    November 12, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  25. Tom

    The article reads, "Evangelical leader Gary Bauer said Sunday that the opposite was true, pinning Romney's loss on a party too focused on appealing to moderate voters."

    REALLY??? Those hard-line conservatives were so upset when Romney starting moving toward the center that they chose to vote for... get this!... OBAMA????

    If Libertarians had gotten a larger piece of the pie than expected, I might buy this. But that did NOT happen, Bauer!! You can try all you want to spin this to say there's far more support of the extreme right than the election showed, but the numbers simply don't support your claim. Maybe you're just trying to convince yourself, or make yourself feel better about the election.

    Time for a reality check! The larger segment of American people do NOT want the GOP/Tea Party because they want to impose their personal choices on others. Combine that with a mis-trust of "trickle down" economics – at least among the more educated Americans – and you have the reason for the election results.

    November 12, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16